I don’t think I can imagine my life without coffee. A hot, strong cup of freshly ground coffee is exactly what I need to get started in the morning – and it’s my constant companion throughout the day. I’m a firm believer in those magic beans, and what’s great about filtered coffee is that it not only tastes so much better than instant brands, but you can also recycle the grounds in a variety of ways to help the environment.
Coffee houses have also cottoned on to the power of their coffee grounds. Back in 1995, Starbucks introduced ‘Grounds for Your Garden’, offering customers complimentary five-pound bags of used coffee grounds to enrich their garden soil. The scheme is still going strong, with many coffee houses now also diverting their coffee grounds for commercial composting, thus reducing the volume of coffee grounds and other food waste ending up in local landfill.
So, if you’re a coffee lover, here are our top 10 ideas for turning those magic beans into green beans:
1. Treat your plants to a coffee-flavored drink
Mix your old coffee grounds with water to feed your plants. Rich in potassium and nitrogen, this ‘energy drink’ will help your plants flourish.
2. Eliminate bad odors
Gentry dry your grounds in a warm oven. Place them in an old sock or stocking and place them in your fridge and food cupboards to minimize or eliminate strong odors.
3. Wake up your worms
If you have a wormery, add your coffee grounds. The caffeine will wake up your worms and have them chomping through your waste more efficiently than before! It’s probably a good idea to mix the grounds with other food waste, so the worms don’t have a caffeine overdose!
4. Put pests in their place
If your garden is plagued with ants and other pests, put a ring of coffee grounds around the plants you wish to protect. The grounds should discourage unwanted visitors.
5. Coffee compost
Coffee grounds will enrich your compost pile, adding vital nutrients. Many shops and suppliers also sell biodegradable filter papers, making it really easy to dispose of used grounds straight into your compost bin.
6. Clear out your drains
Dispose of some of your coffee grounds down your drains to help gently clear out any debris and keep them functioning properly.
7. Watch scratches disappear!
If you own dark wood furniture, your coffee grounds can help to disguise scratches and other wear and tear. Simply soak the grounds in a small amount of hot water, drain off and then apply the liquid solution to damaged areas. Your furniture should look good as new!
Coffee grounds are a great way to thaw slippery sidewalks, driveways and garden paths. Simply sprinkle a handful of grounds in the icy areas, and watch snow and ice melt away!
9. Scrub up nicely
Wet or dry grounds are great in tackling greasy pots, pans and grills. Use a handful alongside your regular detergent to help remove stubborn grease and food.
10. Pamper yourself!
Coffee grounds are great exfoliants – use a tablespoon-full of grounds with your regular soap to buff your face and body.
As you can see, there are plenty of positive ways to re-use your coffee grounds. I hope these top tips will inspire you to put those magic beans to good use!